Auto Alliance President and CEO Dave McCurdy has released an Op-Ed titled "Embracing Change" in which he unsurprisingly uses can-do enthusiasm to explain just how well the big automakers are gearing up for the low-carbon economy and don't want a nasty patchwork of laws. McCurdy repeats the automakers' new rallying cry for "a smart and predictable regulatory environment." Translation: California had better not get to define its own greenhouse gas emissions regulations for half of the states.

McCurdy writes the President Obama should lead the way in setting this single national standard so that the industry knows which technologies to invest in. Does this mean that with Obama's strong support for plug-in vehicles that we'll see less focus on hydrogen cars in the future? Hm.

The Auto Alliance represents the views of BMW Group, Chrysler LLC, Ford Motor Company, General Motors, Jaguar Land Rover, Mazda, Mercedes-Benz USA, Mitsubishi Motors, Porsche, Toyota and Volkswagen. You can read McCurdy's essay for yourself after the jump.

[Source: Auto Alliance]


Embracing Change

By Dave McCurdy

Automakers get it. The low-carbon economy is coming, and only industries that adapt to that new reality will survive.

We intend to succeed.

Success is going to require that we raise the bar. Our economic viability depends on innovation, so our job is to get new technologies on the road as quickly as we can. We're deploying new technologies now and have more in our laboratories; we're already designing products for 2015.

And we have to design products that far ahead. The nature of our industry is that we must start planning production many years ahead of time. That's why it's especially important to us that we have a smart and predictable regulatory environment.

Here's the thing: the auto industry does support strong, forward-looking federal regulation. Did you know we supported a 40% increase in CAFE standards in the 2007 energy bill? We did. And we've urged the federal government to set the strongest achievable fuel economy standards for multiple years in advance, so that we can plan for success. The sooner we can plan, the faster we can achieve the higher standards.

And that's where the new administration comes in. President Obama said "we are committed to the goal of a re-tooled, re-imagined auto industry that can compete and win. Millions of jobs depend on it. Scores of communities depend on it. And I believe the nation that invented the automobile cannot walk away from it." We believe the Obama administration can show real environmental and economic leadership by setting a single national standard, bridging the gap between state and federal policies. In doing so, he will be addressing climate change while still protecting those millions of jobs and scores of communities.

The auto industry is doing the same. While we do need to know the roadmap to invest most effectively, we are already investing heavily in new initiatives, new technologies and green jobs.

We can and will make progress, but an integrated national plan is absolutely necessary. For instance, how effective will the billions invested in new hybrid and electric vehicles beif drivers do not have a place to recharge their plug-in hybrids and electric vehicles, as well as sufficient energy to power them?

Our big, national problems require collaborative, national solutions.

We are facing a lot of changes, but we are determined to embrace them. As President Obama said, "None of this will come without cost, nor will it be easy. But this is America. We don't do what's easy. We do what is necessary to move this country forward."

The changes are also opportunities: we have a new administration, and a new generation of consumers who are keenly aware of important energy issues.

We pledge to continue reinventing the automobile, to collaborate with government to address climate change and economic insecurity, to create green jobs for a new, low-carbon economy. It will not be easy, but our industry depends on us doing what is necessary to move this country forward.

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